COVID-19 breaking news: Victorians wake to sixth lockdown; More NSW residents under restrictions; Queensland exposure sites grow

Welcome to the 9News.com.au live blog for Friday, August 6, 2021. Victorians are waking to their sixth lockdown, bringing the number of Australians living under stay-at-home orders to 16 million. The NSW Hunter and Upper Hunter has entered a snap week-long lockdown after five people in the region tested positive to the virus. And Queensland authorities have confirmed new exposure sites.

Australia does not yet have the option of living with COVID-19, a leading infectious disease expert warned, as Melbourne stares down the barrel of its sixth lockdown.

Adjunct Professor at the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity at University of NSW, Bill Bowtell said all states have got to go back to COVID zero, adding hard and fast lockdowns are here to stay.

The warning comes after five more Sydney residents died from COVID-19 yesterday. New South Wales recorded 262 new cases; the highest number since the pandemic began.

Professor Bowtell said Sydney should serve as a warning to other states about what would happen if Australia tried to open up too quickly.

The future of living with COVID is the future playing out now in NSW, he said.

Snap lockdowns are the only option the nation has Professor Bowtell said, as vaccination rates are not yet high enough to protect the majority of citizens.

The New South Wales Government has announced a new 24-hour COVID-19 testing site for heavy vehicle drivers in Sydney will open tomorrow.

Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said the facility at 250 Victoria Street, Wetherill Park, will begin testing drivers from 7am tomorrow.

We know that heavy vehicles are not able to easily access the large majority of the current community testing locations, and these pop-up sites make it easier for our truckies to get tested and get back on the road, Mr Toole said.

With increased mandatory testing requirements in place for freight workers across multiple jurisdictions, we have seen unprecedented demand on our freight testing sites, so opening Sydney’s first site tomorrow will be very welcome news.

Tokyo clocks record virus cases amid Olympics
By Associated Press02:40
Tokyo reported 5042 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its most since the pandemic began as infections surge in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics.

Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four other areas of the country have since been added. But the measures, basically shorter opening hours and a ban on alcohol for restaurants and bars, are increasingly ignored by the public, which has become tired of restrictions.

The new cases brought Tokyo’s reported total to 236,138. The entire country registered more than 14,000 new cases on Wednesday, for a 970,460 total.

Alarmed by the pace of the spread, some experts have called for the state of emergency to be expanded nationwide.

Sydney teenager who travelled to NSW coast believed to have sparked cluster

A teen from Western Sydney who broke lockdown rules by travelling up the New South Wales coast for a beach party is believed to have sparked a growing coronavirus cluster.

The Hunter and Upper Hunter entered a snap week-long lockdown yesterday after five people in the region tested positive to the virus.

Officials believe the origin of the cases is a teenager who left Sydney and drove to Blacksmiths Beach in Swansea, Lake Macquarie, south of Newcastle, on Friday, and passed the virus on to a friend.

Infected teenagers then went to school in the area, including at Lake Munmorah, Maitland and Morriset, NSW Health officials said.

Queensland Health has confirmed new COVID-19 exposure sites including a school playing field in East Brisbane and a junior football game at The Gap.

The state yesterday recorded 16 new local cases on Thursday, all linked to the Indooroopilly cluster.

Of those, four had been in the community at some point during their infectious period.

Victorians are waking to their first morning under the state’s sixth coronavirus lockdown.

There are now more than 16 million Australians across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland under stay-at-home orders as the highly contagious Delta variants shows no signs of being contained.

The snap lockdown in Victoria will be in place for at least seven days after the state recorded seven new COVID-19 cases.

Residents now have just five reasons to leave their homes include purchasing foods and supplies, exercising for up to two hours, giving care, essential work and education or getting a COVID-19 test or vaccination.

Shopping and exercise must be done within 5km of households.

Face masks will remain mandatory at all indoor and outdoor areas that are not homes.

Good morning and welcome to the 9News live news blog for Friday, August 6, 2021.

Victorians are waking to their first morning under the state’s sixth coronavirus lockdown. There are now more than 16 million Australians across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland under stay-at-home orders as the highly contagious Delta variants shows no signs of being contained.

The Hunter and Upper Hunter has entered a snap week-long lockdown after five people in the region tested positive to the virus.

Queensland Health has confirmed new COVID-19 exposure sites including a school playing field in East Brisbane and a junior football game at The Gap.

Stay with us throughout today for all the breaking news.

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